Posts filed under ‘Pre-historic rock arts’

Ancient sculpture of Nataraja unearthed at Durgapali, Sambalpur

Following is a report from the TNIE:

SAMBALPUR: The recovery of an ancient stone sculpture of Nataraja at Dungrapali, located on downstream of Hirakud Dam, by teams of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is believed to throw more light on the flourishing Shaivism  in the region.INTACH teams, who are documenting both tangible and intangible heritage along both sides of the Mahanadi river in the State, stumbled upon the ancient sculpture on the embankment of the Devi water body.

Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraja – the Cosmic Dancer. It is believed that the idol dates back to 7th or 8th century.  The idol has been kept in the custody of the district Collector and will be put up for display in the new museum coming up at Sambalpur.  Similarly, the top portion of old Gudeswar temple was also recovered and stored safely in the district collectorate. The recovery was made on the information of residents of Durgapali to the INTACH teams.

Historian and culture enthusiast Deepak Panda, who is leading the teams in Sambalpur, said it seems to be the ‘Chuda’ or ‘Amalaka’ of an ancient temple. It is four feet high, three feet wide and weighs around 200 kgs.  Panda further informed that the idol reflects Lord Shiva in Tandava form and since it was protruding from earth, it is believed that there could be a temple beneath. A clear picture will emerge after excavation, he said.

He further revealed that many such ruins of temples, which have been collected by locals, are being studied. It is suspected that the temple of which the ruins belong may have been damaged by invaders, Panda said. Seven teams, which were flagged off by Chairman of INTACH LK Gupta on January 15, will document the heritage, bio-diversity and food habits of people residing along the banks of the Mahanadi. They will cover nearly 1,000 km on the both sides of the river from upper reaches of Hirakud to its merger with the Bay of Bengal near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur.  The work also entails cultural mapping of Mahanadi, which has around 50 per cent of its total course flowing in Odisha. The team will cover undivided Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh, Angul, Nayagarh and Cuttack districts under the project.


March 28, 2018 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

Destruction of historical monuments in Western Odisha

Following is a report from the Sambad:


October 29, 2014 at 1:33 am 1 comment

Pre-historic rock arts of “Koshalanchal”

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Historians and researchers have started taking a keen interest in the rock arts of western Orissa dating back to pre-historic times.

In the last one decade, more than 7,000 rock arts in 76 rock shelters have been found in Orissa, especially in western parts of the State, researchers said.

Most recently, a 10-member team led by professor of history in Utkal University Sadasiba Pradhan discovered the pre-historic rock art in Debrigarh under Barapahar mountain range of the district.

The newly discovered rock art includes pictures of flowers, honeycombs, triangles, reptiles, goats and hands of human being.

This reveals that western Orissa has been home to continual pre-historic civilisations dating back to more than 8,000 years, they added.

Most of the rock arts, including pictures and engravings have been found in the region, due to extensive research by Prof Pradhan while he was working in Sambalpur University.

The State found its place in the rock art map of India in 1933 when KP Jayaswal reported one of the earliest evidences of rock engravings in India from the rock shelter of Vikramkhol in Jharsuguda district of western Orissa.

Unfortunately, such an early discovery did not arouse much attention of scholars for further discovery and documentation of rock art in the State.

After a gap, SN Rajguru and JP Singh Deo discovered two more rock sites at Guhahandi and Jogimath in Nuapada district in 1950 and 1976 respectively.

This was followed by discovery of more rock art shelters in Sambalpur, Sundargarh, and Subarnapur. Undivided Sambalpur district (comprising of Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda and Bargarh) and Sundergarh now account for the highest concentration of rock art sites in Orissa.

The rock pictures and engravings found in western Orissa are by and large non-figurative abstract patterns and motifs in the midst of a few animal forms. The patterns and motifs include a host of triangles resembling female genitals, rhomboids, honeycombs and a series of geometric and non-geometric intricate patterns.

In 2004, 32 rock art researchers and enthusiasts from the United States, France, UK, Austria, Switzerland and Australia visited the rock art sites in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts. Rock art of Orissa was one of the important topics in the convention of International Federation of Rock Art Association (IFRAA) held in Agra years back, said Dilip Padhi, a rock art enthusiast, who has documented most of the recent findings photographically.

The art, which is the result of chipping and abrading the rock surface with a sharp tool or application of hematite and other natural colours, has stood the ravage of time.

Despite its historical importance the government is not taking adequate measures to preserve the ancient rock arts of the region. After their recent visit to Vikramkhol rock shelter, members of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts alleged the Archeological

Survey of India (ASI) has not performed the conservation work properly in the historical site.

May 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment



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